You may have heard as medical marijuana as an option to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with your chronic disease. Medical cannabis has been gaining traction around the US as a natural option to many painkillers and prescription drugs commonly used for treating physical pain.
If you’re interested in getting a medical marijuana card and you’re a resident of Illinois, you’re in luck – the state legalized medical marijuana in 2013 for certain chronic conditions. Below, we summarize everything you need to know about applying for a medical marijuana card in the state of Illinois.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis
If you are over the age of 18, reside in Illinois, and have a qualifying medical condition, then you may be eligible to receive a medical marijuana card through the state. Note that not all medical conditions qualify you for a card, so it’s important to meet with your physician before applying.
Medical conditions that qualify you for a medical marijuana card in Illinois in 2019 are:
- spina bifida
- Crohn’s disease
- fibrous dysplasia
- Hepatitis C
- interstitial cystitis
- multiple sclerosis,
- muscular dystrophy
- nail-patella syndrome
- post-concussion syndrome
- reflex sympathetic dystrophy
- residual limb pain,
- rheumatoid arthritis
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- spinal cord disease or injury,
- spinocerebellar ataxia
- Tarlov cysts
- Tourette syndrome
- traumatic brain injuries.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Illinois
If your medical condition is listed above and you’re interested in treating your disease or symptoms with medical marijuana, there are several steps you have to take before you can pay a visit to your local dispensary.
Receive a Written Certification from Your Physician
To qualify, you must have your physician complete a Physician Written Certification Form, which requires proof that you visited their offices within 90 days of the application date.
However, you can’t visit any doctor – you must have a “bona fide physician-patient relationship,” which means your doctor must take responsibility for the care and treatment of the condition moving forward. The doctor must also certify that they completed an in-person assessment of your medical condition and received your medical history.
Complete Necessary Registration Forms
Once you receive your physician certification, it’s time to complete your marijuana card application form, which can be done online or through the mail. On the form, you must provide your physician’s name and address, as well as a medical marijuana dispensary where you plan to purchase your cannabis.
In addition to the form, you have to submit a 2” X 2” photograph taken in the past 30 days, with a full-face view against a plain, light background. The application will also ask for proof of your age and identity, which can be a color copy of your driver’s license or passport. As well, you’ll have to prove that you’re an Illinois citizen, which can be any official document showing your address (like a lease or bank statement)
Pay for Your Medical Marijuana Card
After collecting the required documents, you’ll have to decide if you want to receive a one-, two-, or three-year card. Application fees for each are $100, $200, and $250, respectively. Payment can be submitted with the online application, or with a money order through the mail.
Once you submit your application, you’ll have to wait for it to be reviewed by the Illinois Department of Public Health. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on how many applications the department receives.